Airlines prefer online check-in because it saves them on paper and staff costs. So far, one of the main benefits of online check-in for passengers is saving time at the airport, where you do not have to stand in line at check-in counters.
If you do not have checked baggage, you can go straight to the security checkpoint, then to the appropriate gate and to the plane. Your identification number and the boarding pass you have printed entitle you to go directly to your place on the plane. If you have luggage to check in, you will often save some time here as well, because some airlines have a designated counter or workplace where you can drop off your luggage without having to go through the entire check-in.
The online check-in system will save you a lot of time at the airport, but don’t rely on the fact that you can arrive at the security check ten minutes before the departure of your aircraft. Even if you have carefully checked everything and have your boarding pass in hand, you must adhere to the times set by the airline. You must be at your respective departure gate no later than 15 minutes before departure, but some companies even require an hour.
Remember that there are also deadlines by which you must hand in your checked baggage at the latest. Even if you checked in online, the recommendation to be at the airport two traditional hours in advance still applies. The time you save through online check-in can then be spent visiting the shops at the airport or sitting in the restaurant. Also keep in mind that online check-in is usually not available for group tours.
Benefits of online check-in
- Allows you to choose your seats before you get to the airport.
- Prepare your boarding pass in advance
- Avoid so-called “overbooking”, ie leaving a seat without a seat due to too many reservations
- No long waits at airport counters
- If your airline has a bag drop line at the airport, you may be able to arrive at the airport a little later
- You can come directly to the security check, which means that you can arrive at the airport up to 30 minutes before boarding, instead of the usually required 2 hours
- In case you lose your boarding pass, you can print it out again
Glossary of airport terms: What is online check-in
In order not to be confused at the airport (but also when buying a ticket), it is good to remember a few terms. These dates will no longer surprise you at the airport.
- Arrival (time) - arrival (time of arrival).
- Baggage claim - baggage collection, suitcase collection.
- Boarding pass (boarding ticket) - boarding pass.
- Check-in - check-in.
- Check-in desk - check-in counter.
- Checked baggage/luggage - checked baggage (not to be confused with hand or cabin baggage).
- Cabin baggage / carry-on baggage - aircraft suitcase, hand luggage.
- Departure (time) - departure (departure time).
- DLY/Delay - delay.
- Flight ticket - air ticket, boarding pass.
- Gate - departure gate.
- Reservation confirmation - booking confirmation (usually arrives in your inbox when booking online).
- Seat - seat.
- Security check - security check.
- Terminal - terminal, one of the airport buildings.
- Transfer - transfer from one flight to another.
- Tranzit - landing and further departure, all on board the same flight.